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Cyprus

Lack of interest in EastMed pipeline ‘worrying’

eastmed pipeline
East Med pipeline

Companies have so far not expressed an interest in the construction of the mooted EastMed pipeline, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said on Tuesday.

He was briefing MPs at the House foreign affairs committee.

Kasoulides called the lack of interest “worrying.”

He explained that the problem has to do with the fact that a feasibility study for the pipeline has stalled, because the company tasked with the study is being “harassed” by Turkish ships at a location which Turkey claims lies within its continental shelf.

As things stand, the minister said, there are only rough estimates relating to the length and cost of the proposed pipeline. The project is thought to carry a price tag of €7 billion.

But as long as no feasibility study is available, companies have no information to go on – hence the absence of interest.

Despite this, Kasoulides told MPs the government is looking at alternative solutions for Cyprus’ natural gas – such as transporting it by tanker to installations in Egypt.

The EastMed pipeline appeared to be dealt a fatal blow in January when the US State Department withdrew its support for the project.

Analysts meanwhile say that even if the project were declared feasible, there would still be a lack of investor interest and gas buyers in Europe.

Also on Tuesday, Kasoulides briefed parliament on the electricity link between Cyprus and Crete. Work is expected to commence in 2024. The project has secured €658 million in financing from the EU.

But this project, too, is hampered by problems. The company assigned the project says it now wants to reroute the subsea cable so that it does not come into proximity with Turkish areas.

Kasoulides said the government has not yet consented to rerouting the cable.

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